Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 32 > Page 48 - Leslie Shedden, Glace Bay Photographer

Page 48 - Leslie Shedden, Glace Bay Photographer

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1982/8/1 (609 reads)

ger Glace Bay picture being pieced together. There is much pleasure in this book, and a portion of that pleasure is the provocative information it provides. Leslie Shedden: "Nobody told me how to take pic? tures. I wouldn't listen to anybody. Who's going to tell me how to take pictures? They could tell me what they want, but they won't tell me how to get it. "Of course I was interested in every picture I took. I was interested in quality. After all, the people in the Dominion Coal Company hired me to take these pictures, and if after 2 or 3 trips in the mine I came up with mediocre results or even poor results, I'm sure they wouldn't call me back. Artistic expression wasn't there at all. I was bas? ically a portrait man, myself, and the artistic end of it came into that. I was definitely inter? ested there. But not with the commercial work I did with the Dominion Coal Company." "Did you ever think there'd come a day when you'd see any of these photographs again?" "Published, you mean? I often thought that the oc? casional one would appear in some publication, yes, but not as a complete book. I've never seen all the pictures that he's putting in the book." "How do you feel about that?" "I don't know. It should be interesting. I've nev? er given it that much thought. Once I see the book, I'll have some reaction, but not until I see it." "You have no real desire to have control?" "Oh, absolutely not. No. Not interested. It will be interesting to see it 'hen it's completed. The only thing I care about in that book, that the re? productions will be well done. Because as far as I'm concerned, the pictures that I supplied to the Dominion Coal Company were well done. I had hun? dreds and hundreds of 8 by 10 pictures that were made, finished, and then thrown out, destroyed • they weren't good enough. When I did work for the Dominion Coal Company, I made the very best black- and-white print that I could make. And I would make several, until I got exactly what I wanted. It wasn't necessary to always do that • quite often the first print was good, was satisfactory. As a matter of fact, very often. But at the same time, there are hundreds and hundreds of waste prints • not good enough. To get back to the book: the only thing that I'm concerned with is that they will re? produce from those negatives and get as much qual- ily as is in the negative, and show it in the book. Now if you take a black-and-white picture that's done underground, you're concerned with coal most? ly, and machinery that's quite dark. But there's detail there. Now if you turn around and you make , a print off that and it's too contrasty, and if you lose too much sharpness, and you don't get e- nough detail, half-tones, highlights, and so on • if you burn out your highlights and blacken your shadows, and you merely have a black-and-white • that's not good enough. And if you do too much of that, the quality of the whole thing is lost. That's about the only thing that would concern me." "Beyond the quality of the pictures, do you think those pictures reveal you?" "I don't think so. No." "I guess you know I think you're wrong.". In Cape Breton, Mining Photographs and Other Pic? tures should be ordered from the College of Cape Breton Press, Box 5300, Sydney, Nova Scotia BIP 6L2. The price is $25.00. It is also available from The Press of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, 5163 Duke St., Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 3J6. A set of 10 black-and-white postcards of photos from the book is also available • $3.00 a set. Our thanks to Robert Wilkie for permission to Include examples of Leslie Shedden's work in this -issue of the magazine. Island Buy arxl Sell SPECIALIZING IN USED FURNITURE -We buy and sell most resaleable items- Island Gateway Shopping Plaza Reeves St., Port Hawkesbury 625-3900 PHARMACIE ACADIENNE LTEE. LTD. ARICHAT PHARMACY 226-2214 ??A • o Insurance Services For All Your Personal Coverage, Call: (48) SYDNEY 539-6315 (toll free) NORTH SYDNEY 794-4788 GLACE BAY 849-4547 MABOU 945-2514 NEW WATERFORD 862-3350 LOUISDALE 345-2199 PORT HAWKESBURY 625-0640 CHETICAMP 224-3204 YOU CAN TALK TO US Ramsay's ' Honda Shop Motorcycles,'I'arts & Accessories' Cor. Charlotte & Townsend Sts. 539-7644 Sydney 539-1730
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